2020 Vol. 18, No. 12

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Recent advances of traditional Chinese medicine on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19
DAI Yu-Jie, WAN Shi-Yao, GONG Shuai-Shuai, LIU Jin-Cheng, LI Fang, KOU Jun-Ping
2020, 18(12): 881-889. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60031-0
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a new highly infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus. Recently, the number of new cases infected pneumonia in the world continues to increase, which has aroused great concern from the international community. At present, there are no small-molecule specific anti-viral drugs for the treatment. The high mortality rate seriously threatens human health. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a unique health resource in China. The combination of TCM and Western medicine has played a positive and important role in combating COVID-19 in China. In this review, through literature mining and analysis, it was found that TCM has the potential to prevent and treat the COVID-19. Then, the network pharmacological studies demonstrated that TCM played roles of anti-virus, anti-inflammation and immunoregulation in the management of COVID-19 via multiple components acting on multiple targets and multiple pathways. Finally, clinical researches also confirmed the beneficial effects of TCM on the treatment of patients. This review may provide meaningful and useful information on further drug development of COVID-19 and other viral infectious diseases.
Research progress on the source, production, and anti-cancer mechanisms of paclitaxel
YANG Yan-Hua, MAO Jia-Wang, TAN Xiao-Li
2020, 18(12): 890-897. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60032-2
Paclitaxel, a tetracyclic diterpenoid compounds, was firstly isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew trees. Currently, as a low toxicity, high efficiency, and broad-spectrum natural anti-cancer drug, paclitaxel has been widely used against ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and other cancers. As the matter of fact, natural paclitaxel from Taxus species has been proved to be environmentally unsustainable and economically unfeasible. For this reason, researchers from all over the world are devoted to searching for new ways of obtaining paclitaxel. At present, other methods, including artificial cultivation of Taxus plants, microbial fermentation, chemical synthesis, tissue and cell culture have been sought and developed subsequently. Meanwhile, the biosynthesis of paclitaxel is also an extremely attractive method. Unlike other anti-cancer drugs, paclitaxel has its unique anti-cancer mechanisms. Here, the source, production, and anti-cancer mechanisms of paclitaxel were summarized and reviewed, which can provide theoretical basis and reference for further research on the production, anti-cancer mechanisms and utilization of paclitaxel.
Research article
Taurochenodeoxycholic acid mediates cAMP-PKA-CREB signaling pathway
QI You-Chao, DUAN Guo-Zhen, MAO Wei, LIU Qian, ZHANG Yong-Liang, LI Pei-Feng
2020, 18(12): 898-906. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60033-4
Taurochenodeoxycholic acid (TCDCA) is one of the main effective components of bile acid, playing critical roles in apoptosis and immune responses through the TGR5 receptor. In this study, we reveal the interaction between TCDCA and TGR5 receptor in TGR5-knockdown H1299 cells and the regulation of inflammation via the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA)-cAMP response element binding (CREB) signal pathway in NR8383 macrophages. In TGR5-knockdown H1299 cells, TCDCA significantly activated cAMP level via TGR5 receptor, indicating TCDCA can bind to TGR5; in NR8383 macrophages TCDCA increased cAMP content compared to treatment with the adenylate cyclase (AC) inhibitor SQ22536. Moreover, activated cAMP can significantly enhance gene expression and protein levels of its downstream proteins PKA and CREB compared with groups of inhibitors. Additionally, TCDCA decreased tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8 and IL-12 through nuclear factor kappa light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activity. PKA and CREB are primary regulators of anti-inflammatory and immune response. Our results thus demonstrate TCDCA plays an essential anti-inflammatory role via the signaling pathway of cAMP-PKA-CREB induced by TGR5 receptor.
The cardiovascular protective effect and mechanism of calycosin and its derivatives
PAN Li, ZHANG Xuan-Fen, WEI Wan-Sheng, ZHANG Jing, LI Zhen-Zhen
2020, 18(12): 907-915. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60034-6
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of mortality and morbidity in the world, especially in developing countries. Drug therapy is one of the main ways to treat cardiovascular diseases. Among them, great progress has been made in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases with traditional Chinese medicine. In terms of experimental research, the mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases has been thoroughly discussed in vitro and in vivo. In terms of clinical treatment, traditional Chinese medicine with flavonoids, saponins and alkaloids as the main effective components has a definite effect on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as arrhythmia, myocardial ischemia, angina pectoris and myocardial infarction, with high safety and good application prospects. With the further research on the effective ingredients, mechanism and adverse reactions of traditional Chinese medicine, it will be beneficial to the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine, reduce side effects and promote the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine. Calycosin and its derivatives, the main bioactive flavonoids in Astragalus membranaceus have multiple biological effects, such as antioxidant, pro-angiogenesis, anti-tumour, and anti-inflammatory effects. Based on the above biological effects, calycosin has been shown to have good potential for cardiovascular protection. The potent antioxidant effect of calycosin may play an important role in the cardiovascular protective potential. For injured cardiac myocytes, calycosin and its derivatives can alleviate the cell damage mainly marked by the release of myocardial enzymes and reduce the death level of cardiac myocytes mainly characterized by apoptosis through various mechanisms. For vascular endothelial cells, calycosin also has multiple effects and multiple mechanisms, such as promoting vascular endothelial cell proliferation, exerting vasodilating effect and directly affecting the synthesis function of endothelial cells. The present review will address the bioactivity of calycosin in cardiovascular diseases such as protective effects on cardiac myocytes and vascular endothelial cells and elucidate main mechanism of calycosin and its derivatives to exert the above biological effects.
Development of liquiritigenin-phospholipid complex with the enhanced oral bioavailability
SHI Chang-Can, QIN Kun-Ming, XU Ke, CHEN An, CAI Ting, CAI Bao-Chang
2020, 18(12): 916-921. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60035-8
In the present study, liquiritigenin-phospholipid complex (LPC) was developed and evaluated to increase the oral bioavailability of liquiritigenin. A single-factor test methodology was applied to optimize the formulation and process for preparing LPC. The effects of solvent, drug concentration, reaction time, temperature and drug-to-phospholipid ratio on encapsulation efficiency were investigated. LPCs were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and powder X-ray diffractometry (PXRD). The apparent solubility and n-octanol/water partition coefficient were tested. The pharmacokinetic characteristics and bioavailability of the LPC were investigated after oral administration in rats in comparison with liquiritigenin alone. An LPC was successfully prepared. The optimum level of various parameters for liquiritigenin-phospholipid complex was obtained at the drug concentration of 8 mg·mL−1, reaction time for 15 min, reaction temperature of 30 ℃, a ratio of 1∶4.5 (W/W) drug-to-phospholipid and anhydrous ethanol as reaction solvent. Compared to liquiritigenin, the AUC0-t of the LPC was increased by 239%. The liquiritigenin-phospholipid complex significantly increase the lipid solubility and bioavailability of liquiritigenin, suggesting that it is an effective formulation for further development and clinical applications.
Effect of quercetin on chondrocyte phenotype and extracellular matrix expression
GUI Zhi-Peng, HU Yue, ZHOU Yu-Ning, LIN Kai-Li, XU Yuan-Jin
2020, 18(12): 922-933. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60036-X
Due to the poor repair ability of cartilage tissue, regenerative medicine still faces great challenges in the repair of large articular cartilage defects. Quercetin is widely applied as a traditional Chinese medicine in tissue regeneration including liver, bone and skin tissues. However, the evidence for its effects and internal mechanisms for cartilage regeneration are limited. In the present study, the effects of quercetin on chondrocyte function were systematically evaluated by CCK8 assay, PCR assay, cartilaginous matrix staining assays, immunofluorescence assay, and western blotting. The results showed that quercetin significantly up-regulated the expression of chondrogenesis genes and stimulated the secretion of GAG (glycosaminoglycan) through activating the ERK, P38 and AKT signalling pathways in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, in vivo experiments revealed that quercetin-loaded silk protein scaffolds dramatically stimulated the formation of new cartilage-like tissue with higher histological scores in rat femoral cartilage defects. These data suggest that quercetin can effectively stimulate chondrogenesis in vitro and in vivo, demonstrating the potential application of quercetin in the regeneration of cartilage defects.
Ganoderic acid A protects lens epithelial cells from UVB irradiation and delays lens opacity
KANG Li-Hua, ZHANG Guo-Wei, ZHANG Jun-Fang, QIN Bai, GUAN Huai-Jin
2020, 18(12): 934-940. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60037-1
A contributory role of oxidative stress and protection by antioxidant nutrients have been suspected in cataract formation. Ganoderic acid A (GAA), an effective lanostane triterpene, is widely reported as an antioxidant. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential effects of GAA on cataract formation. After lens epithelial cells (LECs) were exposed to UVB radiation for different periods, cell viability, apoptosis-related protein levels, malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were monitored. We found that cell viability, the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and SOD activity were increased, while Cleaved caspase-3 levels and MDA activity were decreased compared with those in UVB-impaired LECs after GAA treated. Furthermore, GAA activated PI3K/AKT in UVB-impaired LECs and effectively delayed the occurrence of lens opacity in vitro. In conclusion, these findings demonstrated that GAA exhibited protective functions in SRA01/04 cells and rat lenses against UVB-evoked impairment through elevating cell viability and antioxidant activity, inhibiting cell apoptosis, activating the PI3K/AKT pathway and delaying lens opacity.
Traditional Chinese medicine network pharmacology study on exploring the mechanism of Xuebijing Injection in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019
XING Yan, HUA Ying-Rong, SHANG Jing, GE Wei-Hong, LIAO Jun
2020, 18(12): 941-951. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60038-3
As a representative drug for the treatment of severe community-acquired pneumonia and sepsis, Xuebijing (XBJ) injection is also one of the recommended drugs for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but its treatment mechanism for COVID-19 is still unclear. Therefore, this study aims to explore the potential mechanism of XBJ injection in the treatment of COVID-19 employing network pharmacology and molecular docking methods. The corresponding target genes of 45 main active ingredients in XBJ injection and COVID-19 were obtained by using multiple database retrieval and literature mining. 102 overlapping targets of them were screened as the core targets for analysis. Then built the PPI network, TCM-compound-target-disease, and disease-target-pathway networks with the help of Cytoscape 3.6.1 software. After that, utilized DAVID to perform gene ontology (GO) function enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis to predict the action mechanism of overlapping targets. Finally, by applying molecular docking technology, all compounds were docked with COVID-19 3 CL protease(3CLpro), spike protein (S protein), and angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2). The results indicated that quercetin, luteolin, apigenin and other compounds in XBJ injection could affect TNF, MAPK1, IL6 and other overlapping targets. Meanwhile, anhydrosafflor yellow B (AHSYB), salvianolic acid B (SAB), and rutin could combine with COVID-19 crucial proteins, and then played the role of anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune response to treat COVID-19. This study revealed the multiple active components, multiple targets, and multiple pathways of XBJ injection in the treatment of COVID-19, which provided a new perspective for the study of the mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the treatment of COVID-19.
Shunt products of aminoansamycins from aas1 overexpressed mutant strain of Streptomyces sp. S35
DAI Li-Ping, WANG Zi-Shen, WANG Hao-Xin, LU Chun-Hua, SHEN Yue-Mao
2020, 18(12): 952-956. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60039-5
Constitutively expression of the pathway-specific activators is an effective method to activate silent gene clusters and improve natural product production. In this study, nine shunt products of aminoansamycins ( 1−9 ) were identified from a recombinant mutant strain S35-LAL by overexpressed the large-ATP-binding regulator of the LuxR family (LAL) gene aas1 in Streptomyces sp. S35. All the compounds showed no anti-microbial, anti-T3SS and cytotoxic activities.
Study on the secondary metabolites of grasshopper-derived fungi Arthrinium sp. NF2410
LI Wei, WEI Jing, CHEN Dao-Ying, WANG Mei-Jing, SUN Yang, JIAO Fang-Wen, JIAO Rui-Hua, TAN Ren-Xiang, GE Hui-Ming
2020, 18(12): 957-960. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(20)60040-1
Two new 2-carboxymethyl-3-hexyl-maleic anhydride derivatives, arthrianhydride A ( 1) and B ( 2) , along with three known compounds 35 , were isolated from the fermentation broth of a grasshopper-associated fungus Arthrinium sp. NF2410. The structures of new compounds 1 and 2 were determined based on the analysis of the HR-ESI-MS and NMR spectroscopic data. Furthermore, compounds 1 and 2 were evaluated on inhibitory activity against the enzyme SHP2 and both of them showed moderate inhibitory activity against SHP2.